Italy Detains Most Wanted Mafia Boss (Worthy News Radio)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

PALERMO, ITALY (Worthy News) – Italy’s most wanted Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, who was accused of several high-profile murders, has been detained after three decades on the run. The man was captured Monday by police at a private hospital on the Italian island of Sicily.

For years Messina Denaro seemed untouchable. He escaped justice after being sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Although the crimes shocked Italy, Messina Denaro managed to stay out of prison for the last three decades. That was till Monday when armed police appeared at his bedside in a private hospital on Italy’s island of Sicily.

The 60-year-old, nicknamed “Diabolik” and “U Siccu” or “The Skinny One,” had been treated for cancer. Police took him from “La Maddalena” hospital in the Sicilian capital Palermo.

Wearing a brown fur-lined jacket, glasses, and a brown and white woolly hat, he was awaited by a crowd of reporters and onlookers.

Once feared by the nation, the man was whisked away by two uniformed carabinieri police and bundled into a waiting black minivan. Other images on social media showed locals applauding and shaking hands with masked police as the minivan was driven from the suburban hospital to a secret location.


His arrest underscored broader efforts by Italy’s authorities to crack down on the highly organized Mafia, known in Sicily as the Cosa Nostra.

The Mafia’s crimes and societal influence have undermined Italy’s image as a reliable European Union member. That’s why Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hailed the arrest as “a great victory for the state.”

Maria Falcone, sister of the murdered judge, echoed that sentiment. She said the arrest proves that Mafiosi, despite their delusions of omnipotence, are ultimately doomed to defeat. In the conflict with the democratic state.”

Earlier, in November, a Sicily court convicted 91 defendants of roles in an organized crime scheme that bilked the European Union of some 5 million euros (more than $5 million) in subsidies for grazing land on the Mediterranean island.

Prosecutors said dozens of reputed Mafia members and white-collar professionals conspired to defraud the EU of subsidies for the use of grazing land, including Nebrodi state parkland at the eastern end of Sicily. The sentences ranged from two years to 30. Ten defendants were acquitted.

Former park director Giuseppe Antoci, who helped investigators to uncover the scheme, was in the courtroom to hear the verdicts. He narrowly escaped death in 2016 when bullets raked his car in an attack that investigators blamed on the Cosa Nostra.

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